by Trish Rudder
The Humane Society of Morgan County, the county’s only no-kill animal shelter, needs to build a new facility on its property and has until March 2024 to do it.
That’s because it has sold .27 acres of its property, a small portion of its property on U.S. 522 South to Caperton Furniture Works, its neighbor next door.
According to the group, Caperton Furniture Works paid $25,000 for the land that will be used to build a new parking lot for the company’s expanding operation.
The business also donated an additional $100,000 to the shelter to help pay for the new facility that will be built on the existing property, board president Jennifer Hughes said last week.
“It was a great deal for us and a generous donation, but now we have to raise another $200,000 – and fast,” Hughes said in the press release.
To meet that goal, the humane society has launched a fundraising campaign called “Raise The Woof.”
“Donations of $125 or more come with the opportunity to design a commemorative brick that will become a permanent part of the new facility. So far, nearly 200 people have designed bricks in honor of beloved cats, dogs, people – ‘and one turtle,” said shelter manager, Susan Cucinotta in a release.
The shelter’s existing buildings are also in need of repair — with a cracked foundation in the dog kennel that was built in 1978 and the cattery trailer that was donated in 1979, “has sagging floors and perennial plumbing problems,” said the organization.
The shelter members and volunteers know the challenge of raising the funds and building the new facility in just 22 months, but they are excited about a new facility that will “increase the efficiency of the operation by bringing the kennel, cattery, office and clinic under a single roof.”
It will include a new HVAC system and two new visiting areas for potential adopters.
“This new facility, and especially the visiting areas, will make it easier for Morgan County homeless dogs and cats to find their forever homes – and at the end of the day, that’s what we’re all about,” Cucinotta said.
A relatively new addition and an important component of its “shelter management,” Hughes said last week, is that the shelter also has a food bank available for those who are struggling to buy food for their pets.
For more information, visit HSMC-WV.org, or email Jennifer Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org or attend the next board meeting on May 22 at 4 p.m. at Cacapon Resort State Park in the pavilion by the nature center.